To say we were excited for this Prince Phantom 100x 305 playtest might be an understatement.
We loved the old Prince Phantom Pro 100, so we had high hopes for Prince’s latest update.
Famed for magical feel and great access to spin, the Phantom range has to be one of our favorites, and with a friendly 305g weight and 16 x 18 string pattern, this racket should suit lots of people.
As an added bonus, this racket looks great too, with a sleek frame and tidy paint job, you feel ready for the part when you walk on court.
In terms of updates from the previous version, the Phantom 100x 305 features a slightly thicker beam that offers a little bit more power, but with CTS Beam technology, you still get that incredible feel that Phantom players love.
Phantom 100x 305 Specifications
Head Size: 100 in² / 645 cm²
Length: 27in / 68,5cm
Strung Weight: 323g / 11,4oz
Unstrung Weight: 305g/10,8oz
Balance: 32,23cm / 6 pts HL
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 18 Crosses
We took this stick out with Babolat RPM Blast strung at 52 lbs, loading it up with lots of controlled spin and looking to maximize this racket’s potential by swinging big and being aggressive.
So, how would the 100x 305 stack up against the other Phantom rackets? We set about finding out.
Groundstrokes – 8/10
One aspect that we particularly like about the Prince Phantoms is that they combine modern maneuverability with classic feel.
This means you can maximize your swing speed and still feel like you’ve got the ball on a string.
With the open 16 x 18 string pattern, much of your control comes from exceptional spin, and if you’re someone who’s looking to add a little more of this to your game, then the 100x is an ideal racket.
Sometimes though, rackets with an open spin pattern can give you so much spin that you feel like you’re left with nothing else.
However, the Phantom helps ensure you’ve got the power behind the ball as well, which means you can hit heavy balls that push your opponent back.
The extra bit of power this racket has over the previous version really helped me on my backhand, where I was able to keep a good length and get a little bit more spin than normal.
I don’t need this so much on the forehand side where I get a lot more natural power, but importantly, the Phantom gave me the control I needed on this side to get the most out of the stroke.
I’m someone who loves a more closed string pattern, so I would be drawn towards the 18 x 20 racket, but I have to admit, I played some great tennis with this version.
The power was there, I had access to lots of spin, but most importantly for me, the control and feel were excellent.
The only shot I struggled with a bit was when I tried to flatten the ball out on short balls, but that’s just a personal weakness which the open string patterns don’t help.
Overall though, the Prince Phantom 100x 305 is going to suit a lot of people from the back of the court, and we gave it a great score of 8 out of 10.
Volleys – 8/10
The Phantom has the kind of qualities you need to play good volleys.
It’s easy to get into position, and it’s got the touch you want on contact.
While I find you never get quite enough stability at the net from a 305g racket, the Phantom 100x doesn’t do a bad job in this area and I did find myself playing some nice volleys.
I’m not sure it’s quite the perfect racket for someone who loves to rush the net but it’s certainly a good option for someone who likes to finish off the point there.
Again, I slightly preferred the stiffer feel of the 18 x 20 string pattern version, but that’s just a personal preference.
The Phantom 100x 305 has enough volleying ability for modern-day singles, and it also didn’t feel bad at the net.
Another big bonus with this racket that we haven’t mentioned yet is the comfort.
This racket is nice and flexible, allowing it to absorb shocks and stop you from feeling big vibrations and discomfort.
We enjoyed this aspect on the volleys and were able to make the most of this racket’s high-level of performance and commitment to comfort.
A solid performance from the Phantom at the net – we gave it an 8 out of 10.
Serve – 8.5/10
We didn’t get on so well with the old Phantom Pro 100 on serve, but it was actually our favorite part of the playtest with the new 100x.
This stick always had the maneuverability and feel, but now it’s got a touch more power to throw into the mix and it works a treat.
We found we were all able to hit the big flat serves, the sliders out wide, the kickers, and high percentage serves no problem, and we had everything we needed.
On a personal note, I’m always looking for maneuverability and stability on the serve and that’s pretty much what I got.
As long as I kept swinging through the ball and being aggressive I was rewarded with good serves that combined power and spin to brilliant effect.
This allowed me to win a lot of free points on the first serve whilst also giving me confidence on the second serve.
When you get this kind of combination it tends to result in a lot of holds, and lots of holds lead to a lot of wins, so we were certainly happy with the Phantom 100x in this area.
A score of 8.5 signals just how much we enjoyed it.
Returns – 8/10
It was another strong performance from the Prince Phantom 100x 305 on the return.
The maneuverability of this stick works well, allowing you to make sure you get your contact point in front, and from there, you’ve got plenty of control to guide the ball back into court.
These are the two things we look for on the return: maneuverability and control, and the Phantom gave us plenty of both.
When you do get a look at a juicy second serve, that’s when this racket comes into its own.
You can produce a ton of racket head speed, allowing you to attack the ball with power and spin, giving you a great starting place for the point.
We all found we made plenty of first serve returns and were able to exert some good pressure on our opponents off the second serve.
All in all, another good part of the playtest and we gave the Prince Phantom 100x 305 an 8 out of 10 for the return.
Overall – 8/10
Overall this is another excellent racket from Prince.
It is an improvement on the old Phantom Pro (in our opinion,) but as ever, it’s an incremental one.
I wouldn’t be ditching my Phantom Pro immediately, but also, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy this racket when the time comes for a new racket.
The racket offers the Phantom’s signature feel, excellent comfort, tons of maneuverability, plenty of access to spin, and good control to go along with it, so that’s a pretty good list of attributes.
It’s a little bit more powerful than previous versions of this stick, but that’s not a bad thing, as the racket still maintains a good level of control.
At the end of the playtest, we were all pretty impressed with what the Prince Phantom 100x 305 offered us, and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to a wide range of players. A solid overall score of 8 out of 10.
Review by: Will